Potential overhaul of New York’s workers’ compensation

In January Governor Cuomo introduced a proposed budget bill, part of which aims at reforming several elements of the workers' compensation system. According to the Insurance Journal, the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board estimates that Cuomo's bill will increase future workers compensation loss costs by anywhere between 4.4 and 5.3 percent. Moreover, the NYCIRB believes that the new provisions could place liability on private carriers, as well as the State Insurance Fund, in an amount exceeding $1.1 billion.

Despite the possibility of reform, the workers compensation system in New York does have standard guidelines regarding eligible individuals and the amount of benefits paid. Unfortunately, the states provisions are rather complex, and are not as broad as the provisions in other states.

Which New Yorkers are eligible?

Under New York State law, all employers in the state must provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees. However, in New York not all workers are covered. In fact, state statues specifically list several types of employees who are not covered, such as persons engaging in a teaching capacity for a nonprofit, and even persons engaged in the supervision of athletic actives.

Benefits under NY workers' compensation

There are several types of benefits available to injured employees found eligible for workers' compensation in New York. The categories of such benefits included supplemental benefits, cash benefits, social security benefits, medical benefits and death benefits.

If an individual is eligible for cash benefits, the payment they will receive is based on their average weekly wage of their earnings from the pervious year. An individuals' weekly benefit is equal to two-thirds of the average weekly wage multiplied by the percent of the individual's disability. Of course, such figures are subject to a maximum possible benefit. Most recently, for any accident occurring between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, the maximum weekly benefit is $792.07.

Appealing the initial decision

If an individual is unhappy with the decision of the Board, an appeal can be filed. Of course, there are many deadlines and technicalities associated with an appeal, such as the mandated filing time of no longer than thirty days after the initial decision.

Given the intricate nature of the New York provisions regarding workers' compensation, coupled with financial dependence of many filing for such benefits, an individual injured at work should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney will help guide the individual through the complication workers' compensation process.